It used to be that when you had a colorful hero in the Super variety, there was an equally colorful villain opposite him with an over the top demeanor and wacky scheme. After a time we wanted to take our heroes, and by extension villains, as more real and grown up. Mad scientists and criminals with circus fetishes were replaced by evil corporate CEOs and foreign terrorists. Like all things, this has come full circle with the heroes becoming less stiff and more relaxed and the villains are slowly reflecting that. But why did they vanish in the first place, and how are we seeing them again today? Continue reading The Return of the Campy Villian
Ryan Coogler of Creed & Fruitvale Station has been officially announced as the director of the upcoming Black Panther film. More details at Marvel
Before the year ends and begins anew, I wanted to take a final look at what was once Marvel’s most innovative segment and a personal favorite of mine early in my comic collecting, The Ultimate Universe.
It used to be Marvel’s best line of books, a wellspring of creativity and constant sales. So why did it disappear?
Continue reading What happened to the Ultimate Universe?
Spoiler Warning: They’re in this post, especially about Star Wars The Force Awakens Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: Comic Convo Film
Thought that there were a fair amount of comic book based TV series last year? Well, this year there were even more. So, let’s dive right in and revisit what excelled and what was meh in home viewing in 2015 . . .
Cosmo: So, I was thinking that we should start with Marvel’s pair of Netflix series as they were the most high-profile comic book TV projects of the year. As I stated in my reviews, I feel that Daredevil & Jessica Jones both really raised the bar on what a superhero series could be. They were among the best TV of any kind I saw in 2015.
Josh:I have to agree, and not just because Game of Thrones was so-so and Fargo Season 2 has been a slow-burner.
Marvel’s Netflix is shaping up to be the dramatic counterpoint/compliment to their films.
Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: Comic Convo TV
The key to Marvel comics success has been the way they distinguished themselves from their competition in the publishers Jack Kirby hey day all the way up to it’s present dominance which has always hinged on a simple formula, that being the hook of their titles were superhero comic and…… From Fantastic Four all the way up to Ms Marvel, Marvel’s greatest strength has been in how they could mix the superhero genre with the cultural zeitgeist of their time period. That formulas translated successfully to their film division as well, Iron Man is about modern privatizations of geopolitical warfare and silicon valley tech culture, the Captain America films were swashbuckling adventure pulp and an action political thriller, Thor is sword & sorcery, Ant-Man is a comedy ect Yet, the major flaw with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that in the end, they are superhero stories. This is different from the comics where what’s for all intents & purposes a never ending story, the character’s that make up the comic universe have had time to evolve and change over a period of decades. Even the series that don’t last as long as your X-Men or Captain America are usually still given about twelve issues to flesh out the stories intent, remain a part of the publishers continuity and will usually get relaunched at some point or another many times over. Film & TV is different, even as Marvel has expanded and stretched the parameters of how far you can carry a narrative between film & television shows within a franchise ( and the entire studio is a franchise in and of itself) a film or television show still require some semblance of the classic three act structure and that’s different then say, Hickman’s Avengers that took over sixty issues to reach it’s conclusion or Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey & Jordie Bellaire’s Moon Knight which was a self contained one and done story in each single issue installment. With comics, there’s a lack of formality that allows the narrative structure to be fluid and that just isn’t an option for film or television. That’s why with Marvel film & television, no matter how unique they are in the abstract, always revert back to more traditional superhero narrative tropes in the end. It’s there all the way at the inception point with the otherwise stellar Iron Man’s limp ending all throughout the entirety of the cinematic universe films and TV serials with the only exception being Guardians Of The Galaxy, still the best film from the Marvel cinematic universe partially because it’s not a superhero film. The first nine episodes of Jessica Jones is the best thing that’s ever been done in the Marvel cinematic universe. It managed to explore unique but vital themes with a depth of insight never done before from the studio while maintaining a consistently thrilling narrative that did well in utilizing several classic comics character’s within a modern context. But at episode ten, attrition stepped in, the plot stretched itself too thin and the show becomes just a superhero story. Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 10-13
The first trailer for Captain America 3: Civil War has been released & it’s more than a teaser. Perhaps countering rumors that this would be more of an Avengers film, the trailer centers on Cap, Bucky & Falcon. Plus, a flash of Black Panther. Finally there is a somber tone which suggests a natural continuation from Winter Soldier. The Russo Brothers are back directing, so that would seem natural.
Civil War opens on May 6th, 2016
Do you know, we covered Netflix’s Daredevil in April? Of this year. The mind boggles…
Anyway, What’s Miss Jones up to now? Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 7-9
Jessica Jones is a fantastic show. I won’t make too many comparisons to Daredevil because they are completely different, but one can’t help compare a Marvel Netflix show to it’s predecessor. Where Daredevil lost followers I think Jessica Jones excels. There was a period in Daredevil which became a little dry. Most fans connected very strongly with the first few episodes. Once the shock factor of extreme violence passed, there was little left to hold onto until later in the season. I know many people who started with enthusiasm over Daredevil and just couldn’t get through the middle episodes. Jessica Jones shouldn’t suffer the same fate as it’s a mysterious PI story, while Daredevil was more of a hero origin story. The first three episodes set the scene and seeded the plot’s many mysteries. The next three add layers to the already fantastic story.
Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 4-6
This weekend Marvel Studios launches the latest chapter of their unfolding Cinematic Universe. After the highs of Daredevil Season 1 this April the production company’s results have been a bit mixed. While Age of Ultron and Ant-Man were both enjoyable films, neither matched the same level of quality as last year’s Winter Soldier or Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues chugging along, improving in bits though failing to live up to its potential. Now comes Marvel’s final entry for the year and their second series for Netflix: Jessica Jones. Based on the initial three episodes, Jessica Jones is a fitting follow-up to Daredevil. Where Daredevil brought a new sophistication and maturity to superhero TV, Jessica Jones dives even deeper. As with Daredevil, this is not simply outstanding comic book television, but outstanding television of any kind.
Continue reading Review of Jessica Jones Episodes 1-3